Monday, May 26, 2014

#YesAllWomen - A Poem in Response/Contribution

Maybe you have already heard about #YesAllWomen, Twitter's response to the recent misogyny-fueled shooting in Santa Barbara, CA. Time has a wrap-up that will cover the details better than I ever could, so go fill yourself in if this is new to you.

On the topic though, I couldn't stay silent. I had to write...something. There is just too much still to address, and if I can lend my voice to the conviction and healing of injustice, I gladly will.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, contribute, respond...let's keep this dialogue going. This is the beauty of the internet, and I love seeing it explode like this.


I have never been one to climb mountains.
There are no tracts of unmanned land
I envision improved by the stab of a flagstaff,

and yet,
as if against my will, my eyes
grow iris-brown crosshairs when I see you

or your friends,
or anyone able to be unmade
by the bounty I foist on your sex.

You have a name, a title ascribed to that brew
of passion and hope
bottled in your sternum,

no difference between you and me
but the caprice of a chromosome.
I know you are no less a person than I am.

So what is this intellectual fracture
that admits your agency
while staking claims on its manifestation?-

making you nothing but something to be won,
a trophy case
of power and flesh.

Who put the spider in my bones
that only wants to get near you
to dress your limbs in restraint?-

as if this were a tenderness you owed me,
a vestibule useless until utilized
by the title under my belt.

I ask these questions, but there's no room to wonder
when the world hangs its skeleton key
in this crook of hip and thigh:

the pink-or-blue system subscripted 'give-or-take',
the phallicism in our most basic symbols of strength,
the colloquialisms with the aftertaste of rape…

Where did I learn this predation?
The better question I shudder to ask,
Where did I not?